Disability Futurity

Updated Disability Futurity 2020 Schedule Ottawa Times

Disability Futurity: Interdisciplinary Anticipations of a Non-normative Tomorrow.

2020 Seminar Schedule

Carleton University’s Disability Research Group (CUDRG) is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Department of History, School of Social Work, and the Department of Systems and Computer Engineering. The CUDRG is co-hosting this joint seminar series with the Liverpool Hope University Centre for Culture & Disability Studies (CCDS) in Liverpool, UK. All listed seminars will take place virtually over Zoom Meeting. All times are listed in the Ottawa time zone (EDT).

Wednesday, July 29, 10am-11:30am
– “‘Wholeness’, ‘Incompleteness’, and Disabled Futurity in Victorian Prosthesis Narratives.”
– Dr. Ryan Sweet (Swansea University)
– Please register here

Thursday, October 15, 9:30am-11:00am
– “Disability Histories and Futures of the Nation.”
– Dr. Gildas Bregain (École des Hautes Études en Santé Publique), Dr. Beth Robertson (Carleton University), and Dr. Paul van Trigt (Leiden University)
– Please register here

Thursday, November 12, 10am-11:30am
– “Spectral Risk and the Future of Disability.”
– Dr. Kelly Fritsch (Carleton University), and Dr. Anne McGuire (University of Toronto)
– Please register here

Download the Dr. Kelly Fritsch and Dr. Anne McGuire Poster

Spectral Risk and the Future of Disability
Dr. Kelly Fritsch, Carleton University, Dr. Anne McGuire, University of Toronto

Date: Thursday, November 12, 2020

Time: 10am-11:30am EDT (Ottawa), 4pm-5:30pm CEST (Europe), 3pm-4:30pm BST (UK).

All are welcome to register for this live online event at:

https://events.carleton.ca/spectral-risk-and-the-future-of-disability/

In what ways do contemporary individualized spectrums of risk simultaneously constrain and expand possibilities for disability justice and the future of disability? Building on our previous work (2019) documenting the institutional history of the sperm bank and legacies of eugenics that examined how parents mark the fate of their donor-conceived children on a graded spectrum of genetic and psychiatric risk, we reflect on how spectral risk is informed by the haunting dread of disability. We seek to further understand the contemporary reorganization of disability along a continuum of spectral risk in order to delineate how disability haunting can enable us to better attend to the effects of the past and present in such a way that provokes a more collectively just future.

Fritsch, Kelly and Anne McGuire. 2019. “Risk and the Spectral Politics of Disability.” Body & Society. 25(4): 29-54.

Kelly Fritsch is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University. As a feminist disability studies scholar and crip theorist, her work explores the generative frictions of disability. She is co-editor of Keywords for Radicals: The Contested Vocabulary of Late-Capitalist Struggle (2016) and co-author of the forthcoming disability justice children’s book, We Move Together (April 2021).

Anne McGuire is an Associate Professor with the program for Critical Studies in Equity and Solidarity at the University of Toronto. Her areas of teaching and research draw on anti-racist and decolonial theories in disability studies, queer/crip theory, child studies, and feminist science and technology studies to study the structural and material conditions of human vitality and precarity. She is author of War on Autism: On the Cultural Logic of Normative Violence (2016) and co-author of the disability justice children’s book, We Move Together (April 2021).

This seminar is part of the Disability Futurity series organised by the Carleton University Disability Research Group in collaboration with the Liverpool Hope University Centre for Culture & Disability Studies.

For information about Disability Futurity, please contact Professor David Bolt, boltd@hope.ac.uk.

For information about the Carleton University event, please contact Dr. Ryan Patterson, Ryan.Patterson@carleton.ca

Download the Oct 15 Disability Futurity Seminar Poster

Disability Histories and Futures of the Nation
Dr. Gildas Bregain, École des Hautes Études en Santé Publique, Dr. Beth Robertson, Carleton University, Dr. Paul van Trigt, Leiden University

Date: Thursday, October 15, 2020

Time: 9:30am-11:00am EDT (Ottawa), 3:30pm-5pm CEST (Paris, Leiden), 2:30pm-4pm BST (UK).

All are welcome to register for this live online event at:

https://events.carleton.ca/disability-futurity-seminar-disability-histories-and-futures-of-the-nation/

This seminar aims to explore the historical relationship between disability and the nation state from a transnational perspective, with the intent of probing how that relationship has manifested over time in the form of technological and public infrastructure, employment and education, government policies and state bureaucracy around immigration and global development, as well as the issue of human and civil rights. Much like the seminar series overarching theme, this seminar will serve to challenge the idea that disability is a peripheral issue of a marginalized few, but instead will position disability as a central feature of the nation state and how it operates. By doing so, our aim is to probe the historical, political and cultural contexts that have shaped the current state of democracy, the development of human rights legislation, and in turn, how persisting barriers to public services, political participation, employment, education, etc. reflect an all too enduring conception of citizenship that is premised on the non-disabled person, which can only be imagined through reference to its alleged opposite – the disabled body/mind.

This seminar is part of the Disability Futurity series organised by the Carleton University Disability Research Group in collaboration with the Liverpool Hope University Centre for Culture & Disability Studies.

For information about Disability Futurity, please contact Professor David Bolt, boltd@hope.ac.uk.

For information about the Carleton University event, please contact Dr. Ryan Patterson, Ryan.Patterson@carleton.ca

Download the Dr. Ryan Sweet Seminar Poster

‘Wholeness’, ‘Incompleteness’, and Disabled Futurity in Victorian Prosthesis Narratives
Dr. Ryan Sweet, Swansea University

Date: Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Time: 10:00–11:30am (EDT)

All are welcome to register for this live event at:
https://events.carleton.ca/disability-futurity-seminar-wholeness-incompleteness-and-disabled-futurity-in-victorian-prosthesis-narratives/

This talk will investigate how and why physical ‘wholeness’ became culturally dominant in the nineteenth century, and how literary representations of prosthetics engaged with this hegemony. The first part will parse the historical factors underpinning the rise of physical ‘normalcy’, including coalescing theories that drew together mind and body, the rise of bodily statistics, lingering fears of contagion, changes to the Poor Laws, unshifting gendered social demands, and the marketing efforts of emerging prosthetists. The second part will then turn to transgressive literary imaginaries of prostheses. Using two fictional case studies that represent artificial-hand users, English poet, novelist, and playwright Robert Williams Buchanan’s ‘Lady Letitia’s Lilliput Hand’ (1862) and the lesser-known short-story writer T. Lockhart’s ‘Prince Rupert’s Emerald Ring’ (1895), I will argue that literary representations of prostheses often simultaneously reinforced and complicated the hegemony of physical ‘completeness’.1 As I will suggest, such stories perpetuated fears of physical disaggregation while also bringing into question the efficacy of prostheticising. Towards the end of the talk I will read Buchanan’s short story through the lens of Alison Kafer’s concept of ‘crip time’, highlighting how disabled futurity was not always imagined in negative ways in the nineteenth century.2

1 Robert Williams Buchanan, ‘Lady Letitia’s Lilliput Hand’, Temple Bar, 4, 5 (1862), 551–69, 114–31; T. Lockhart, ‘Prince Rupert’s Emerald Ring’, Chambers’s Journal of Popular Literature, Science and Arts, 12 (1895), 300–304.
2 Alison Kafer, Feminist, Queer, Crip (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2013).

This seminar is part of the Disability Futurity series organised by the Carleton University Disability Research Group in collaboration with the Liverpool Hope University Centre for Culture & Disability Studies. The seminar presentation in Ottawa will be connected to Liverpool Hope University live through videoconference.

For information about Disability Futurity, please contact Professor David Bolt, boltd@hope.ac.uk.

For information about the Carleton University event, please contact Dr. Ryan Patterson, Ryan.Patterson@carleton.ca

Download the Sharon Smith Seminar Event Poster

The Role of Risk in Relation to Special Educational Needs and Disability
Sharon Smith, PhD Candidate, University of Birmingham

Date: Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Time: 9:00–10:30am

Place: 617 Southam Hall, Carleton University (live videoconference with Liverpool Hope University, UK)

All are welcome to join the live event (Zoom Meeting ID 230 252 634) at this link: https://zoom.us/j/230252634.

Since the 1990s, there has been an increased focus within education on keeping pupils safe, and anticipating risks of problems, such as negative outcomes or future underachievement, resulting in the ‘at risk’ label being applied to some students, who then require greater observation and protection. Students with disabilities are often seen as more vulnerable than the general school population, and therefore are subject to even greater monitoring and risk management than their peers.

This paper will argue that the move within education towards risk management is problematic for disabled students, because they are now subject to disciplinary power over their future, which is calculated and managed. However, the future of the other is not something that should be comprehended in the present, nor should there be any attempt to contain it. Instead, there should be a relationship with the future, based on ‘the temporal transcendence of the present toward the mystery of the future’ (Levinas, 1987:94). This paper therefore discusses an alternative conception of teaching and learning for students with disabilities, where the educator puts themselves in a ‘position to receive and welcome’ the other in their alterity, which defies any limits that may be imposed on them (Todd, 2011:174-5).

Levinas, E. (1987) Time and The Other [and additional essays]. Trans. by R.A. Cohen. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press.

Todd, S. (2011) Welcoming and Difficult Learning. In: Egéa-Kuehne, D. (ed.) Levinas and Education: At the Intersection of Faith and Reason. London: Routledge, 170-185.

This seminar is part of the Disability Futurity series organised by the CCDS in collaboration with Carleton University’s Disability Research Group. The seminar presentation in Liverpool will be connected live by videoconference.

For information about Disability Futurity, please contact Professor David Bolt, boltd@hope.ac.uk.

For information about the Carleton University event, please contact Dr. Ryan Patterson, Ryan.Patterson@carleton.ca

Representations of Disability Experience in Live Theatre
Mx seeley quest, Montreal

Date: Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Time: 10:30am–12:00noon

Place: 617 Southam Hall, Carleton University (live videoconference with Liverpool Hope University, UK.)

Representation of disability experience in live theatre, outcomes of work initiated by disabled art makers, and of practicing transparent communication with mixed audiences, using research-creation processes with two script projects of mine in development. This series created collaboratively with the public will also require representing accessibility accommodations with minimized carbon footprints, including enacting that in the project production, another key aspect of disability futurity.

One has contemporary setting, features two physically disabled characters, negotiating power dynamics as photographer and model, raising questions of exposure, desire, consent–and of negotiating power as a physically and cognitively disabled playwright with performers and audience, in decisions about what kinds of disabilities and experiences to represent, and authenticity versus artifice.  The characters don’t have assigned genders, and collaborating in different gendered pairings through workshops and productions’ castings, navigating gendered and sexual tensions along with variable embodiments, is a phenomenon part of disability futurity.

The other script is set in Montreal fifteen years in the future, not centering crips as much, yet the radio drama serial will have a majority of disabled actors and production crew, and feature crip characters in this future world daily contributing to life in ecologically-remade communities.

This seminar is part of the Disability Futurity series organised by the Carleton University Disability Research Group in collaboration with the Liverpool Hope University Centre for Culture & Disability Studies. The seminar presentation in Ottawa will be connected to Liverpool Hope University live through videoconference.

For information about Disability Futurity, please contact Professor David Bolt, boltd@hope.ac.uk.

For information about the Carleton University event, please contact Dr. Ryan Patterson, Ryan.Patterson@carleton.ca

Living as if we already know what ‘human’ will be: Exploring the anticipated futures of visual/deaf humanity and how they shape the present.
Dr. Mike Gulliver, Senior Research Associate, University of Bristol

Date: Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Time: 9:00–10:30am

Place: 617 Southam Hall, Carleton University (live videoconference with Liverpool Hope University, UK.)

The hope that “… [we] need not accept our limitations, but can transcend disability through technological innovation” (Herr 2014) is a key tenet of the Posthuman vision. For deaf people, this aspiration already shapes the present. With technologies to restore damaged hearing or prevent damage from occurring in the first place, commentators refer now to a ‘post-deaf’ reality (Davis 2008). A post-deaf world would be celebrated by many. However, for some deaf people—those who see themselves not as disabled, but as a ‘people of the eye’ (Veditz 1910), and who celebrate their natural, sign languages and their unique, signed cultures as the global heritage of a ‘visual form of humanity’ (Bahan 2011)—post-deafness represents not progress, but rather a narrowing of humanity towards a less diverse, less creative, less… ‘human’ future.

Even as the idealism of post-deafness is challenged, however, its inevitability is already being anticipated by present-day policy makers. As it becomes common to assume that technologies are now available to help deaf people choose to become ‘hearing and speaking’ people, alternatives to a post-deaf reality become more and more difficult to imagine. This seminar explores anticipated post-deafness, to uncover how future visions of disability (both real and imagined) shape the present, and the tension between our agency to keep the future open, and the inertia of the ‘inevitable’.

This seminar is part of the Disability Futurity series organised by the CCDS in collaboration with Carleton University’s Disability Research Group. The seminar presentation in Liverpool will be connected live by videoconference.

For information about Disability Futurity, please contact Professor David Bolt, boltd@hope.ac.uk.

For information about the Carleton University event, please contact Dr. Ryan Patterson, Ryan.Patterson@carleton.ca